Dull start. Realised late in day yesterday that whilst I had a believable figure and a believable arm and hand in the pear block, they didn’t visually work as one. No amount of reduction in size of the latter (left) would affect an improvement, so it was removed in entirety and I chiselled down into the substrate on either side of the area where a revised lower arm would rise.
It seems better, and at a better angle.
The Wednesday group passed by on their morning walk and changes from the day before – the need to involve more figures to imply community and support – attracted agreement. The anxious/despair figure also had a visible effect on some. Affirming that a static carved object made of wood can have this ability.
I walked up to the camp at lunchtime feeling short of time, but was glad I went as several more conversations ensued that would be useful for the work ahead. Two visitors latterly came to the porch as they left camp for the day, each giving intuitive comment about the anxious figure that I was contemplating in the other block. Feeling small when lost in the vast expanse of life was especially useful; proportion is something to think about in the very tall thin nature of the limewood, now imagery has decided to force it that way.
The other conversation with a Forces veteran touched on some common imagery in Forces communities experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder. The pit or hole metaphor I’d discussed with Keith Foskett was re-occurring, with an extra twist.
I learned that down in the pit, people are isolated and perhaps, too, there is a subconscious feeling of weakness if one asks for help. It’s difficult to get out, but another veteran jumping down into the pit can help as they have been there before and they know what to do.
That jumping down seems to be just the sort of action that the Cart Shed community is fulfilling too, perhaps – or at least extending a hand to help the climb back up.
The other interesting conversation was about what actions might come about from triggers and flashbacks experienced by forces veterans – lying face down, or hugging the knees in a corner. The latter for the figure might be viewed as akin to the safe, self-hugging foetal position which I’d been considering for one side of the lime wood block – self-companionship when there is no one there.
Note that the only reason I must consider this imagery in one part of the sculpture is because otherwise the work will not do justice to the level of diligence and seriousness apparent in the work of The Cart Shed. But it also puts the onus onto equally strong imagery being present showing the positive results.
There are various web postings of the (anonymous) tale of the soldier in the hole, including here.